Landscapes, Op. 29

for Symphony Orchestra

Stewart Grant

Rental
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

In the spring of 1994, I spoke to a number of my colleagues in different parts of Canada about the idea of composing a new orchestral work, and from these discussions came a joint commission from the Regina Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Newfoundland, Mississauga, Peterborough and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras, paid for through the generosity of the Canada Council.


Given the geographic diversity of these orchestras, I thought it would be interesting to compose a piece that would reflect their particular locations and environments ? a set of three "Landscapes" that would set out to portray, in musical terms, Saskatchewan (?The Prairie?), Southern Ontario (?The City?) and Newfoundland (?The Sea?). In so doing, I have sometimes made reference to specific things associated with these places ? the fiddle music in the first movement, for example or the meadowlark that I heard singing lustily as I was waiting to be picked up after an afternoon?s composing session in a friend?s studio at the University of Lethbridge. In the second movement, I have gone so far as to portray a drive into Toronto on Highway 401 and, at the end of the movement, a somewhat weary trip home. In general, however, I have mainly tried to convey the overall spirit of either the physical environment or the people of these places ? the openness of the prairie and the sense of industriousness associated with the farms that cover so much of the land, the brash and sometimes overwhelming busyness of the city; the austere beauty of the Newfoundland seascape that seems in such contrast with the warmth of its people, I have purposely used the same music to open both the first and third movements as a reference to the vastness that the ocean and prairies share by virtue of the fact that the Canadian prairies were, many millennia ago, a great inland sea. As a further bit of subtle symbolism, in the final tranquil section of the third movement, I have woven into the gently undulating texture a chant from the yogic master Paramahansa Yogananda that makes reference to the sea as an analogy for the infinitely vast intelligence that underlies all of life.

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Additional Information

Commission Commission Information: Regina Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Newfoundland, Mississauga and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras through the assistance of the Canada Council
Composition Date 1996
Duration 00:20:00
Orchestration 2(Picc.) 2(E.H.) 2 2 - 4 2 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 2Perc. Pno. Str.
Premiere February 10, 1996